Fortside Brewing Company entered the craft brewing scene in Vancouver in 2015 with the goal of making great beer and forming a deeper connection with the people of Clark County.
When Mike DiFabio and Mark Doleski, longtime friends who both grew up in Vancouver decided to set out on their beer-making adventure, they were on a mission to help strengthen craft beer culture in Southwest Washington. So far, they have done exactly that. What began with just the two owners is now a full operation with nine employees and steady growth every year since operating.
The company offers beers on a wholesale level in both kegs and packaged cans and bottles. They distribute their products across Washington state and the Portland area. Fortside Brewing Company also has a taproom with 20 beers on tap that is attached to their production brewery. The company also owns and operates a food truck that is on the patio of the taproom that features fusion tacos.
Some of their most popular beers are the Fortside Pilsner and the Orange Whip. This summer, they launched beer slushies that have been well-liked.
The pandemic slowed down their business, which forced them to temporarily close or restrict business in their taproom and beer cart. But despite that, they have handled the setback as best as they can.
“COVID has of course greatly impacted our business,” DiFabio said. “It forced us to put more energy into the packaged retail business, which is a far less profitable segment for us, but helped us keep revenues up.”
Looking forward, DiFabio said that the future is bright for Fortside Brewing.
“Clark County is home. So, to be fortunate enough to produce something creative, put it out into our community and be rewarded by our community’s appreciation of our art is very fulfilling,” he said. “There is also a very awesome craft beer community in Vancouver (brewers and retailers) that we find it a joy to be a part of.”
Fortside Brewing Company is located at 2200 NE Andresen Road, in Vancouver.